The Bismarck High School Class of 1981 monthly update

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide a positive, safe and supportive environment for all classmates in which we can share our personal lives. The staff reserves the right to publish only information that we feel is within the supportive spirit of this newsletter. Information which we feel is intended to be negative, class polarizing, mean-spirited will not be published at this site. That is not the avenue we want to take with this newsletter. The staff.

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Volume 43, July 2004

Hi everyone,

This month our sponsor is Jay Yeager, thanks Jay for helping us out! We appreciate it!

Well, the newsletter this month is our smallest one to date. I hope that is not an indicator of things to come! We have worked hard on this little project, it has been well received, but the bottom line is……….we need news from you guys!!! This month we do have a great interview, Todd delivers his "insight", we have a Bismarck Tribune story, and thanks to Wendy, Connie (Wiedrick) Samuelson, Megan (Gerboth) Affa and Scott Brandt we do have a recipe, along with some other news highlights. Hopefully next month, some of you will share a little bit about what is going on in your lives also!

Have a great Fourth, see ya in August! Lauri, Dan, Wendy and Todd

"In-depth and Personal with…DeAnn (Stack) Balanga"
Name: DeAnn Balanga
Career/occupation: Paralegal
Home: Bismarck
Family: Alisha (15) and Amanda (11)
Greatest accomplishments: Raising 2 kids as a single parent, working full time, going to school for the last 5 years and graduating in May, 2004 with honors.
People whom you admire and why: My parents for putting up with me for all these years.
What do you have in your pockets: keys and gum
Latest book you've read: Haven’t been reading much with going to school but I did read the Harry Potter series.
Favorite music/musicians: Meatloaf, Styx, Eagles,
Recommended movies: Favorite movie is "A Walk to Remember"
Where have you traveled? From ND to the West Coast and all the way down to Mexico.
Favorite place to vacation? Any place you would recommend? Still love to go camping at Heart Butte.
Favorite foods: A&B taco pizza and pizza burgers flying style from Big Boy.
Hobbies/second career: Restoring my 1949 Harley
Pet peeves: stupid drivers
Memories of Bismarck (good ones): Driving down Main Street and parties at the desert
Memories of BHS (good ones): Summer biology field trip, great time
Who were some of the people you hung out with? Becky Gunsch, Gwen Kautzman, everybody at Hillside Park.

Here’s looking at you babe

Megan (Gerboth) Affa has sent in some new pictures of her two adorable daughters, they can be found in the album labeled "Classmates, 2004". Wendy (Cleveland) Siegel also sent in some pictures of the purses she has knitted, quite fabulous I must say, they can be found in
the album labeled "Business Ventures".


Our recipe this month is "Grilled Lemon Chicken". It is compliments of Wendy (Cleveland) Siegel. The recipe is a favorite of Ina Garten's who is better known as the "Barefoot Contessa" on the Food Network. Wendy is a self proclaimed food network junkie and thought that everyone might enjoy this very easy recipe!



A treasure of memories is a very special happiness.
-Margaret Lindsey


With the exception of Dave Horner, he is turning 42,
all the rest of our birthday people are turning 41!

David Horner
Dawn (Allmendinger) Nelson
Darrel A. Bosch
Dwight Weisz
Barb (Morlock) Steinke
Dana (Stahlberg) Ward
Melody (Carlson) Karlberg
Linda Sprenger
Mark Brostrom
Blaine Clooten
Lauri (Reed) Eckmann
DeAnn (Stack) Balanga

We hope you have a wonderful day!


23 years
Terri (Wilson) and Pete Hodgin

20 years
Todd and Tammie Zarfos

19 years
Sandy (Johnson) and Cleary Johs

18 years
Scott and Jean (Dunn) Gefroh

15 years
Tim and Laura Williams

10 years
Wanda (Ferderer) and Gaylen Dvorsak
Chris and Andrea Grondahl

6 years
Nadine (Schafer) and Aaron Morelli

2 years
Laura McDaniel and Terry Steen

Our sincerest congratulations to all of you!

Todd gives us his view, and he is …..


Compliments of Todd Jueth
Please note: Todd’s views are strictly his own. They are provided for our reading enjoyment and do not necessarily reflect the views of those associated with the Class of 81, it’s newsletter, or its website. Comments sent to me will be forwarded to Todd or you may e-mail him personally toddjueth@bis.midco.net Thanks, Lauri

Hey all, it’s July and the 4th will be spectacular as normal. It is the time to reflect on our freedoms and respect the fact that our military is out there keeping us safe from harms way. A lot of celebrations this fourth will be directed towards our troops, and in Bismarck our Fourth of July celebration will also be all about our military. The day our national guard returned from Iraq you wouldn't believe the welcome they received - people lined the streets from the airport to the National Guard Armory (gotta be about 5 miles long) - solid people waving flags holding sings saying thanks for sacrificing your life for a better world for us. I say way to go.

The whole month of June has been cold up here. Can you believe that it was actually below freezing a couple of nights in southwestern North Dakota? It got down to 27 degrees, and now on the 30th of June it is 92 degrees. We went from winter to summer in one day. But that is good old North Dakota, if you don't like the weather stick around a couple of hours and it will change. And if you don't like the weather at all just leave - that's all the more room for me.

A week ago two fishermen were fishing just south of Bismarck by the mouth of the Little Heart River and to their amazement they came across a floating dead body in the water. Hey, if that won’t make a day bad. It’s not everyday you just roll across a dead body. Well, they called the police and to date nobody can identify who it is. There are no reports of a missing person in North Dakota - not even a car left by the river bank somewhere. So, they are going to try to sketch a composite of what the person might look like and send it out nationally to see if anything comes up. Only problem is, do you remember your buddy looking all blue and puffed up and full of water? Good chance it is somebody that someone thought should be erased from the earth and chose North Dakota to do it.

Like I said it’s the Fourth of July and all of you have plans to go to your favorite hang out. Can you imagine having to work the whole holiday weekend? I write my own schedule at work and I am working the whole weekend. After 16 years you’d think I could schedule myself off but, not, I give all my employees the weekend off and keep the ones I need to get things done - what a great boss. That doesn't bother me because I watch all these people scramble to get all their things needed for the big blast they go out have fun and then reality strikes Monday morning when they realize it’s back to work and summer is over. Once the 4th passes we are on the down hill slide. The longest day of the year has passed and we are now headed to winter solstice, the days are getting shorter.

There, now I got that off my chest. No, I am not a crazy out of control person, I am actually a very nice guy who is very focused on family and the right things but, yes, I do have an opinion - like it or not.

My wonderful family and I would like to wish each and every one of you a happy Fourth of July. Remember: light the fuse and get away.

Take care and be safe - chat at you in August if I didn't cross the lines too far this month.


BHS, Century principals going out the same way they came in -- together

By SHEENA DOOLEY, Bismarck Tribune

This article ran on May 29, 04 in the Bismarck Tribune, I thought you all might enjoy it!

It began in a corner tucked away from the corridors of Bismarck High School. The room was the size of a closet, fitting five people at best. Tom Hesford and Rita Kelly shared it while putting out student publications. Hesford led the yearbook and Kelly oversaw the student newspaper.

Their first love was their students. Their second was English II -- an American literature-based course. Both were heavily involved in the Bismarck Education Association. They started their graduate programs together and went on to become assistant principals and then principals together. The two became best friends -- Hesford was even a "bridesmaid" in Kelly's wedding.

"I don't know why she asked me," he said. "I said I would as long as I didn't have to wear pink."

Almost 28 years later, the two will end an era together as they step down from their posts as principals at BHS and Century High School. Behind them, they leave two intertwined schools: The buildings share classes, teachers and students. Both strive to provide every student a quality education and create a welcome, safe environment. But each has its own challenges and personalities, formed by its students and administrators.

Hesford beat Kelly out for the BHS principal position in 1993. Two years later, Century's principal left and Kelly got the job. Their predecessors started bringing the two schools together after years of having no relationship. But it was Kelly and Hesford who really built the bridge, said Sharon Ervin Johnson, former assistant superintendent who hired Kelly and Hesford as principals

"That's going to be hard for two new principals to come in," Johnson said. "They have to understand the differences and similarities and the importance of working together. That will be easier, though, because the tradition is there."

For Hesford and Kelly, bringing the two schools together wasn't intentional, Kelly said. It just happened. The two found themselves in an unfamiliar role and leaned on each other for help.

"It just stems from a friendship that was there in the first place," Kelly said. "There wasn't any conscientious decision. It naturally grew out of the fact we would call each other for advice."

Nine years later, they still talk on the phone at least once a day, whether it's for advice on how to handle a situation or to talk about policies. Sometimes they talk about scheduling for shared teachers. Other times they discuss hiring teachers.

"I can call him and say, 'Here's what happened, what would you do?'" Kelly said. "It's terrific that way."

They have learned from one another. Hesford is calm and quiet. He isn't detail-oriented. Kelly brings energy to a situation. She talks more than she listens and lacks patience. She pays attention to the little things. Throughout the years their weaknesses have become strengths because of one another.

Kelly looks to Hesford for patience and listening skills. Hesford has learned when it's important to pay attention to detail.

"There are basic differences between the way women approach a situation and the way men do," Hesford said. "It's been interesting to see things from her viewpoint."

Beneath their differences are coinciding values. Both love challenges -- that's how they became principals. They are passionate about learning and are teachers at heart. They educate their teachers, developing their talents in the classroom. But at the core are the kids. Everything they have done in their careers has been for the students, whether it directly or indirectly impacts them.

"We are teachers through and through," Kelly said.

And perhaps that first love will be what brings them together again in the end. For now, both say they need time to relax and decide what they want to do next. But they say there's a good chance that, in a few years, they will return to the classroom to teach high school English.

"I'll miss the kids," Hesford said.

And who knows. Maybe they'll find themselves tucked away in the same corner, in the neighboring rooms where it all began.



Wendy (Cleveland) Siegel will be in Bismarck July 20th-August 11th. She is looking for a babysitter for Elizah, (her 7 year old), a golf partner and some BHS classmates who would like together for a drink or two! I will also be home about that time, (6th-13th) I don't need a sitter, I don't golf for crap, but I would be happy to get together for a drink or two! Let us know if your child can baby-sit for Wendy, you have time for a round of golf, or you would like enjoy an evening out with old friends!

Scott Brandt and his family are headed to Oahu for a little R & R this summer. They plan on visiting Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor, but were also interested in some other ideas. They are traveling with two children under 8 so think "family friendly". Good restaurant ideas? Shopping? Great beaches? "Must sees" on the island? Any and all tips are greatly appreciated!



Connie (Wiedrick) Samuelson and her husband Scott (BHS1980) are eagerly waiting the arrival of their newest addition. Connie is due any day now and promises to let us know the big news in the August newsletter. They are all really excited, and Tessia can not wait to be a big sister!!

Wendy (Cleveland) Siegel's knitting busy continues to go gangbusters! She has designed a new poncho that is selling like hot cakes! She can not knit them fast enough. Remember she also has some of her items available at Impact Gallery and Gifts in Bismarck

Megan (Gerboth) Affa recently asked for prayers and positive thoughts for her father who was undergoing treatment for lung cancer. Here is an update, "He was originally told by the oncologist he had a year to live with chemo. Well, some kind of miracle happened because it turns out he didn't have lung cancer (it was misdiagnosed and that's a long story). It had started in his thyroid and went to bone and some lymph nodes. He had surgery to get it all removed this week, and today the surgeon told him he could expect to live at least another 20 years! So thanks for all the positive thoughts and prayers."


Our sympathies to the class of 1980. Their classmate, Dean Koch,
passed away in Bismarck on June 5th.

New Phone, New E-Mail Addresses, and

New Postal Addresses

Gretchen Larson
If you would like any of the new info., contact me!

Personal notes:

UPDATE: Those are red have been located! To all of you who sent in correct information, made phone calls, checked alumni books, etc., THANK YOU!
Your help is greatly appreciated!

Donald Grenz, everything in the reunion book is wrong
Karen Anderson - ND, ? phone, ? address
Troy Bailey- ? address, no phone
Beth (Nelson) Schumacher- ? address, no phone
James Barth- ? address, phone is wrong in the reunion book,
Paul Mundell- ? address, no phone
Anthony Roll- wrong number
Robin Diede- no phone, ? address, no e-mail
Brenda (Remmick) Baumann- no phone, ? address
Tim Mattis-phone is disconnected
Sandra Schumacher- ? address, no phone
Rita (Ziegler) Keller - ? address, phone is disconnected
David Gelvin-no clues
Eileen Dosch - ? address, phone is disconnected
Wendy (Halpern) Tippett-is the Dallas area somewhere
Penny (Slavik) Meier-phone is disconnected, ? address
Mary (Sweeney) Crompton - phone is disconnected, ? address
Kathy Wilson - no phone listed,
Wade Marsh-in Phoenix, Az, maybe in Mesa, no real clues
Laurie Paul - no phone number, though we do have a confirmation on her address.
Joyce Sperle- ? address, no phone number
Lori Wenger- ? address, no phone number
Jeffrey Conner
Timothy Miller
Timothy Steckler-? address, no phone
Carol Zentner
Richard Hoffman - ? address, no phone
Janet (Cripe) Laudenslager-no phone number
Karla Gallagher-? address, no phone number
David Gregware-? address, no phone
Jim Grenz- no phone number
Carla Hanson - no phone number
Roberta (Hellwig) Rivera - ? address, no phone
Gayle Johnson - ? address, no phone
Marilyn (Meidinger) Lysford - ? address, no phone
Laura Minar - ? address, no phone
Sandy (Unruh) Frieze - no phone
Andrew Prussing -? Address, no phone
Debbie Beston
Marco Brecada
Corrine Feist
Debra (Freadhoff) Berger- ? address, no phone
Jerry Hulm
Charles (CD) Johnson
Pamela Krogen
Brenda Loveless
Carlos Machado
Kelly Meyers
Regina Muncy
Joe Poitra
Theresa Ralston
Susan Scott
Cheryl Sparks
Dennis Thompson
Doug Thompson
Mark Werner
Lorraine White Eagle
Richard Wright

If you guys are reading this could you please get in touch with me! Your addresses have changed, your phone numbers are disconnected, your e-mail boxes are full, or we have no clues on how to contact you! I am trying very hard to keep everyone in the loop and my information up to date! Thanks very much! Lauri


We are having great fun doing this for all of you every month! We are more than welcome to your ideas! Feel free to let us know your thoughts and impressions on where you would like this newsletter to go or what you would like to know more about! Also, if you are willing to be interviewed, contact us, we would love to hear from you! See you next month! Lauri, Dan, Todd and Wendy keckmann@packersrock